Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies

Today was day two of just daddy an the kids and thankfully it was about as uneventful as yesterday. Titus struggled a little bit today going to school, but I think Mondays are generally tougher for him since he’s had the weekend off and then goes back. I never thought this would happen in preschool, but Titus tried to convince me today hew as sick and said, “Dad, I’m sick…see!” and began fake coughing. Of course, I’m not OK with him lying so we dealt with that, but in my heart I was kind of laughing because that’s one of those classic “I don’t want to go to school today” things. I mean, John Hughes even made a whole movie about it. In the end we did get him off to school and I think he did alright.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Above you can see a photo of Avery outside of Titus’ class when we picked him up this afternoon. Hanging on the little bush outside were plastic eggs which I just assumed were from the kids. Titus told us as we left that his class had done that and I asked him which one and he picked red (no doubt that choice is because he loves Lightning McQueen). In the photo below Avery is touching the blue one, but the closest red one is the one Titus said was his. He also said they colored eggs and played outside, but I honestly never really know if he’s telling me about something that happened all today or compilation of a few days.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Speaking of Easter eggs, we have a box of plastic eggs called “Resurrection Eggs” that Bethany made a year or two ago. This afternoon the kids really wanted to go through them and they walk through the story of Jesus during the Passion Week. Each little egg has something inside like nails, thorns, rope, etc. that all relate to the verses regarding Jesus’ death. I had a really good time talking it through with them and even using the Bible we read them every night to show them pictures and relate the story for them even more. I’m amazed at how much the kids can remember and I also love that when we get to the last egg it’s completely empty! Avery knew what was coming already and said, “See! Jesus is alive!” Just that simple exercise of walking through the gospel with my kids was a blessing to my heart and a reminder of what we will celebrate this Sunday. I really am thankful my kids are hearing about these things at such young ages.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

It was pretty cold and rainy today and it even hailed more than once. But the sun came out for about 15-20 minutes this evening while I was making dinner for the kids (oh yeah, I make a mean frozen chicken nugget). Since the sun was low in the sky it made everything golden and I ran out with my iPhone and took a few photos. From gray to gold is such a contrast so it’s always strikingly beautiful when that happens. Above is a photo of Avery being silly with the sun shining behind her. And below is a photo of the church next door when the sun was at it’s brightest. It looks like the storm clouds are rolling away, but only a few minutes later it was dark and overcast again. Either way, I’m thankful for just a few minutes of that wonderful sunlight.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Bethany called us from Poland tonight for a few minutes, but those turned into the the most exciting moments of the day. A few minutes into our phone call Titus knocked an entire cup of water on the table, chair, and floor in the kitchen and Avery dropped a little toy that has colored oil in it and it broke. Naturally this cut into our talk time and I had to hang up, but I think I’ll give her a call when I’m done writing this. She’ll be back tomorrow afternoon and I hope she has had a good time. She said it was stormy in Krakow today too and that they had been doing a lot of walking, but I’m sure I’ll get more of the details when we talk later. Overall, I think the past few days have gone fine and I’m thankful that she was able to get away. But…I really can’t wait for her to come back!


Literally Stuck in Frozen Czech

Update (11:35pm): Made it home after 6 hours stuck on the highway. The roads are frozen over and the driveway to our place is basically an ice rink. But it’s nice to be home!

As I write this, I’m sitting in my car in the middle of a freeway with the engine off. I’m about 6.5 miles from home with little hope of when traffic will resume. The hundreds of other motorists in the same predicament are all asking this question: will I get home tonight?

Today in Czech Republic, the weather turned from cold to freezing rain. As I was working out of the Josiah Venture office (about 30 minutes from home), I hadn’t paid much attention to the weather, and no one had informed me about what was going on outside. Then I got a text from my teammate Daniel who had left earlier saying he was stuck on a hill with a bunch of other cars. That was at 3:53pm and I was in a meeting and it really didn’t click for me that maybe something like that couldn’t happen to me too.

An hour later, Rachael came in to the office and said that someone in Cesky Tesin (our mutual town) informed her that the roads were getting bad. Rachael asked me if she could get a head start back to town in her car, and if something went wrong, asked if I could help her. Of course, I said sure and called Bethany to tell her about what was going on.

Not 15 minutes later, Rachael called me. The highway onramp was closed and she wanted to know if she could come back to the office and if I could help her. Of course, I said yes, and that’s basically where the story starts and basically ends. That was three hours ago.

Stuck on The Highway for Over 6 Hours (12/1/14)

When I got to my car it was literally frozen solid. There was ice covering the entire thing and icicles hanging from the sides. It took about ten minutes to warm it up and scrape off. By this time the onramp had reopened and Rachael didn’t trust herself in this ice so I decided she could ride with me. Off we went going slowly on the highway knowing that there was ice between our tires and the road.

Since I began typing, we still haven’t moved. It took us about an hour and half to go about 16 miles and that’s how long we have been sitting still. We saw people literally sliding on the icy sidewalks and multiple times we have stopped for 10-15 minutes each. Police have snaked their way through the traffic a couple times now, and the second batch had an ambulance following. I don’t know what’s going on ahead of us, but I assume people got hurt.

[long break from writing]

It’s 10:30pm. We’ve been stuck for over five hours and apparently the road is closed in both directions. We got a text from a Czech friend telling us they’ll be closed until at least midnight. I’m going to try and post this blog from the car via my phone and see what happens. I will either update it throughout the night or just try and post more about it tomorrow.

Here are some photos from the adventure (captions below each):

Stuck on The Highway for Over 6 Hours (12/1/14)

This was my frozen windshield as I got into my car around 5pm.

Stuck on The Highway for Over 6 Hours (12/1/14)

Here’s an ambulance squeezing through traffic.

Stuck on The Highway for Over 6 Hours (12/1/14)

This is the salt truck. It got so close to our car we could high five the driver.

Stuck on The Highway for Over 6 Hours (12/1/14)

More police clearing a space through the already tight traffic.

Stuck on The Highway for Over 6 Hours (12/1/14)

This is how all the trucks looked…icicles!

Stuck on The Highway for Over 6 Hours (12/1/14)

Not sure how this truck got snow on it? It was the only car we saw like this.


Thunder and Thankfulness

Working Day (7/21/14)

It rained today. Actually it was a really fun thunder and lighting storm. Us southern California kids aren’t used to thunder and lighting, but it’s definitely an exciting change. The rain also helped cool the temps down today which was a good break.

I spent most of the day at the JV offices which is about a 30 minute drive from where we live. I carpooled with a friend who also works out of that office. My team is working on a lot of fun projects that I’m hoping to share about at some point on the blog. Right now it’s just a lot of meetings and face time with other JV staff which is really fun for me.

Tonight Bethany made a really good meal and we enjoyed our first meal together as a family on our new dining table. We enjoyed a little family time tonight reading books and doing a large circle kids puzzle. Bethany got about 3 more moving boxes emptied today, mostly books that she’s put on our new bookshelves. After the kids went to bed we spent a lot of time working through our budget and making sure our accounts are in order. The past month has just been crazy. Looking at receipts and entering things into our budget software was just reminding how much we have done this month. God has been so faithful to us.

Working Day (7/21/14)

One of the best things about writing daily is it gives me a constant reminder of God’s goodness and leads me to thankfulness. I’ms sure that harder days will come, but right now I feel like the Lord is just simply letting us settle here without a lot of major interruption. For that I’m definitely thankful. I’m thankful for my hard working wife and our two little ones. I’m thankful to serve the Lord in this capacity. I’m thankful that God provides just what we need and even sometimes gives us a little more than that. I’m thankful for new friends and even old friends who took the time this week to call us from the States. I’m thankful that God has brought us here, taken us on an amazing journey, and continues to work in our lives.